What should I know about the suspension & shell of my headwear?

The shell is rigid and light, and is shaped to deflect falling objects.

Correct maintenance is important.


  • Inspect and replace a shell that shows signs of wear, screatches or gouges. Shells exposed to heat, sunlight and chemicals can become stiff or brittle. A visisbile pattern of tiny cracks may develop. Over time, weathered hats can become dull in colour or have a chalky appearance.
  • Replace headwear when hairline cracks start to appear visibile.
  • Remove and destroy any headwear if its protective abilities are in doubt.
  • NOTE: Hard hats have a usage lifespan of up to 3 years from the date of issue to the end user/wearer, depending on the care and condition of the hat. All hats must be replaced after 3 years of use, which may start to affect performance when used beyond the recommended duration.


  • Do not drill holes, alter or modify the shell. Alterations may reduce the protection provided by the headwear.
  • Do not paint the plastic shell. Paint solvents can make plastic headwear brittle and more susceptible to cracks. Pain can also hide cracks that may develop. Instead, use reflective marking tape to make numbers of symbols for identification purposes. Metal headwear may be painted.

What should I know about the suspension of my headwear?

The suspension system is as important as the shell. It holds the shell away from the head and acts as a shock absorber. It also holds the shell in place on the head and allows air to flow freely.

  • Adjust headband size so that headwear will stay on when the wearer is bending over, but not so tight that it leaves a mark on the forehead.
  • Ensure that the suspension is in good condition. The main purpose of the suspension is to absorb energy.
  • Look closely for cracked or torn adjustment slots, frayed material or other signs of wear.
  • Check the suspension lugs carefully. Long periods of normal use can damage the suspension. perspiration and hair oils can speed up the deterioration of suspension materials.
  • Do not put anything between the suspension and the shell. There must be a clearance inside the headwear while it is being worn. In case of a blow to the head, that space helps absorb the shock.